Conceptual Physics 12th Edition
Laboratory Manual: Activities · Experiments · Demonstrations · Tech Labs

by Paul G. Hewitt and Dean Baird · © 2014 by Pearson Addison Wesley ISBN 0321940059

PhET-based Tech Labs

The laboratory activities below are based on computer simulations developed by the University of Colorado's Physics Educational Technology Program (PhET). Most are also included in the Conceptual Physics 12th Edition Laboratory Manual: Activities · Experiments · Demonstrations · Tech Labs by Paul G. Hewitt and Dean Baird © 2014 by Pearson Addison Wesley ISBN 0321940059. Click the link to see the lab manual's complete table of contents.

Permission: Instructors are allowed to duplicate the materials here for purposes of classroom instruction.

Instructor's notes are available to instructors via email. Enjoy!

Conceptual Physics 12e
Laboratory Activity Title and Purpose
PhET Simulation
Part One:
Pushing Things Around [Newton's Second Law]
Purpose: To investigate the relationship between force and motion using the “Forces and Motion: Basics” PhET simulation.
Force and Motion: Basics
The Laws of Attraction [Universal Gravitation]
Purpose: To investigate the quantitative nature of gravitational attraction.
Gravity Force Lab
Worlds of Wonder [Orbital Mechanics]
Purpose: To use a simulation to study the orbital mechanics of a simplified solar system
My Solar System
Part Two:
Properties of Matter
Spring to Another World [Hooke's Law]
Purpose: To use a simulation of masses and springs to determine force constants, a mass value, and the gravitational acceleration of an unknown planet
Masses and Springs

Pool Cubes: Density [Density]
Purpose: To rank items by mass, size, density, and to determine a density-based rule for floatation

Pool Cubes: Buoyancy [Buoyancy]
Purpose: To investigate the nature of the buoyant force and to see the role it plays in determining whether or not an object floats
Part Three:
Bouncing Off the Walls [Kinetic Theory]
Purpose: To control and observe the behavior of gas particles (atoms or molecules) as modeled in a simulation to investigate properties of gas such as temperature and pressure
Gas Properties
Part Four:
Water Waves in an Electric Sink [Wave Mechanics]
Purpose: To observe and control waves in a ripple tank simulation to learn the basics of wave mechanics
Wave Interference
Part Five:
Electricity and

Electric Field Hockey [Electric Forces and Fields]
Purpose: To use a simulation to gain a sense of the vector nature of the electric field and the consequence of the inverse square law that governs electrostatic force by completing a series of game-like challenges
Electric Field Hockey

Greased Lightning [Static Charging and Discharging]
Purpose: To determine the likelihood of getting a “carpet shock” (based on controllable variables), and to avoid or produce such shocks under a series of challenging conditions
John Travoltage

Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab [Electomagnetic Interaction]
Purpose: To manipulate simulated magnets, compasses, and coils to see how magnetic fields interact with electric currents Shine a Light
Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab
Part Six:
Pixel Peeping [Color Mixing]
Color Vision

The Fringe of Optics [Light Wave Interference]
Purpose: To construct the mathematical relationship describing interference patterns
Wave Interference
Part Seven:
Atomic and
Nuclear Physics
Shine a Light [The Photoelectric Effect]
Purpose: To investigate the nature of the photoelectric effect and determine the work function of an unknown metal
The Photoelectric Effect
Radioactive Speed Dating [Radiometric Dating]
Purpose: Correctly estimate the age of the various virtual objects (skulls, rocks, etc.) using the principles of radiometric dating
Radioactive Dating Game

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